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Bryce Huffman

West Michigan Reporter

Bryce Huffman is Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter. Huffman has been serving as a reporter for Michigan Radio since Fall 2016. He has covered a variety of Michigan stories, including immigrants facing deportation, the Detroit-area doctor involved in the female genital mutilation case, and residents concerned about a massive sinkhole in Macomb County. A Detroit native, Huffman graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Journalism. He joined Michigan Radio as a newsroom intern in May 2016.

Gavel
Flickr/Joe Gratz / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A federal judged today denied a bond motion for a Detroit-area doctor at the center of a female genital cutting case.

This motion would have allowed Dr. Jumana Nagarwala to be placed under house arrest. Instead, Nagarwala remains at the Wayne County Jail.

Shannon Smith, Nagarwala’s attorney, says the judge denied the motion because her client's international connections maker her a flight risk.

“But the court really left the door open that if we’re able to come back in with some different ideas, he may reconsider,” Smith said.

A photo of John James
Courtesy Photo / johnjamesforsenate.com

Michigan businessman and military veteran John James announced today he is running for the U.S. Senate.

The Republican Iraq war veteran released a campaign video that lists conservative stances on gun rights and abortion as some of his priorities.

James is the CEO of a supply chain and logistics company in Detroit, according to a press release from his campaign.

“Revenue has more than tripled and 100 jobs have been created under my leadership as President of our supply-chain logistics company,” James said in the release.

Wendell Brown teaching a group of Chinese people about American football
Antoinette Brown

Former Detroit high school football star and Canadian Football League player Wendell Brown faces trial today in China for assault.

Photograph of Downtown Detroit
Ifmuth / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Detroit needs to put more resources into its transit system, according to a recent survey.

The 2016 Downtown Detroit Perceptions Report takes a look at topics like safety, mobility and inclusiveness.

Mayor Mike Duggan handing Kiya Snapp the deed to her house after she completed the occupied buy back program
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Eighty Detroit families are regaining ownership of their homes, after nearly losing them to foreclosure.

This is the first group of families to complete the Detroit Land Bank’s “occupied buy back” program that sells Land Bank-owned homes to people rather than kick them out.

Little Caesars Arena Construction site in downtown, with a Pistons banner
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Can $34.5 million of public money be used to reimburse two billionaires building a sports arena? That’s what a federal lawsuit will try to answer.

Poster for the Detroit Summer Fun Centers.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit is partnering with the Detroit Public Schools Community District to use 16 public schools as recreation centers for five weeks starting Monday. 

The city wants to give kids more recreational choices, but it would’ve been more expensive to reopen the 16 recreation centers that were closed down between 2006 and 2013.

There are currently 11 recreation centers in the city, so adding these 16 schools during the summer brings the total to 27, where it was in 2006.

David Sanchez and his son Benicio, who has Autism Spectrum Disoder.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell spoke to some Michigan parents of children with special needs today about what a future without the Affordable Care Act would be like.

More specifically, Dingell talked about the possibility of those families losing Medicaid if the Senate Republican healthcare bill is passed.

Mayor Mike Dugan talking about Grow Detroit's Yougn Talent program with city youth
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

For the second straight year, more than 8,000 Detroit youth will be working for a city program this summer.

The Grow Detroit’s Young Talent hired 8,127 young people from age 14-24 to work for one of 530 companies across the city.

GDYT hired 2,500 more young people than in 2015 when it began, but 30 fewer than it hired in 2016.

City councilman Scott Benson has been involved with getting youth from the city’s third district, which he represents, into the program since last year.

Tax forms
flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The city’s effort to get more eligible Detroit residents to file their earned income tax credit is paying off, city officials say.

More than 18,000 more residents filed for the federal and state earned income tax credits in 2016 than in 2015. Liza Howze is the city’s director of legislative affairs.

She says the increase is a result of a city-led effort to get more residents to take advantage of the credit.

Protestors holding a sign disapproving the Senate Republicans' healthcare bill
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Some protestors in Detroit think the Senate Republicans' health care bill is bad for Michigan.

The group of protestors marched outside of Senator Debbie Stabenow's Detroit office despite the fact that like most Democrats, she opposes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

A program booklet from the 2017 R&B Hall of Fame induction ceremony
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroiters may get yet another museum honoring the city's music legends: the founder of the Rhythm And Blues Hall of Fame wants to build a museum in the Motor City.

On Tuesday, LaMont Robinson, the Hall's founder, told city council members he's identified a city-owned building that could become the museum: it's a vacant nursing home on West Grand Boulevard,  less than a mile from the Motown museum. 

“We’re looking at anywhere from $3-$5 million [in costs,] so we’ve already started fundraising," he said. "So we just need the blessings of the city."

The Detroit neighborhood of Delray
wikimedia user Notorious4life / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The city of Detroit will get $48 million in a deal with the state related to construction of a new bridge to Canada.

The city is selling the state land in the Delray neighborhood, where the Gordie Howe International Bridge will be built.

Mayor Mike Duggan wants the money to go to a neighborhood improvement fund, job training for city residents, and air and health monitoring in southwest Detroit.

A home being demolished in Detroit.
City of Detroit / via Facebook

The Detroit Land Bank Authority will pay the state $5 million to settle complaints over how its demolition program handled invoices.

But Mayor Mike Duggan says the city will also get $5 million from the state in new demolition money.

“This gives us enough funding to go full speed ahead with the demolitions for the next year and a half,” Duggan said.

The city also reimbursed the state roughly $1.3 million for its investigation costs.

Duggan is satisfied with the deal.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Lafayette Street between Shelby and Washington Boulevard in downtown Detroit was flooded with people supporting several Iraqi-American immigrants facing possible deportation.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, arrested these immigrants in metro-Detroit more than a week ago.

Most have criminal records, but have already served time or paid their fines.

Carrie Heichle is the wife of one of the men arrested during the ICE sweeps.

She says her two sons are having a hard time without their dad.

An artists' vision of Little Caesars Arena.
Olympia Entertainment

The Detroit Pistons are one step closer to playing downtown again.

Despite backlash from some residents, Detroit city council has approved $34.5 million in bonds so the Pistons can move into the Little Caesars Arena downtown.

Some Detroiters are unhappy with the deal because the bonds are taxpayer funded with money originally intended for schools and parks. 

Council President Brenda Jones was one of two members to vote no on the bonds.

An artists' vision of Little Caesars Arena.
Olympia Entertainment

A federal judge has knocked down an initial effort to stop the Detroit Pistons from moving to a new downtown arena unless there’s a public vote on financing the project.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith heard arguments in a federal lawsuit, filed by activists Robert Davis and D. Etta Wilcoxon. It alleges team owners and city officials didn't seek public approval before using public funds for the project, in violation of state law.

Money
Andy / Flickr

President Trump’s proposed budget could mean trouble for southeast Michigan.

That’s the opinion of Congressman Sander Levin and more than 20 organizations in the area.

The congressman met with representatives from different organizations at risk of losing federal funding if the president’s budget is approved.

Levin says the proposed budget has very few positives, if any, for Michigan residents.

“I don’t want people to go hungry because of these cuts, I don’t want them to be in the cold without assistance for heat,” Levin said.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Friends and family members of the Iraqi-Americans who are facing possible deportation gathered in Detroit to protest. 

Mayor Mike Duggan announcing Motor City Re-Store plan on Detroit's westside
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Much of the new development in Detroit has not happened in the city’s neighborhoods.

But now Mayor Mike Duggan wants to invest in small businesses throughout the city.

Duggan announced the Motor City Re-store plan that will help improve the aesthetics of different commercial corridors in the city.

Duggan says small businesses can apply for up to $500,000 in matching grants each quarter.

“And what we want is the businesses who have been here to come forward with their ideas for improving their neighborhoods and we’ll match it,” Duggan said.

Demolition
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

The Detroit demolition scandal heats up after a federal grand jury issued a subpoena earlier this week.

The Detroit Land Bank Authority was tasked with handling vacant property demolitions after Mayor Mike Duggan took office in 2014.

Duggan says nobody from his office was questioned or subpoenaed.

“We have made sure that everybody at the Land Bank and Building Authority have given them all documents, and access to all people as quickly as possible,” he said.

Duggan says he and his office will continue to cooperate with federal investigators.

Kym Worthy (file photo).
waynecounty.com

Community leaders in Detroit this week are calling on Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to change the way her office prosecutes cases. They she has been too harsh on juvenile offenders and has allowed exonerated prisoners to stay behind bars.

Shri Thanedar holding his grandson before making the announcement that he is running for Governor.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Indian-born small businessman Shri Thanedar announced he is joining the race for governor of Michigan today in Detroit.

Thanedar is seeking the Democratic nomination. He's never held public office, but says he and his family will serve the state that helped him achieve success.

“We have done well for our family, but it is time now to try and help others in my state achieve their American dream. Within months, I sold my business, gave my staff a $1.5 million bonus, and decided to devote the rest of my life to public service,” Thanedar said.

Skyline of Detroit from the city's west side.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s immigrant population is growing, and a recent study says that's good for the economy.

The New Americans in Detroit report was released today. It found that between 2010 and 2014, more than 4,100 foreign-born individuals moved to the city of Detroit.

The report also says in 2014, immigrants contributed more than $53 million in state and local taxes. Immigrants in Detroit also contributed more than $67 million to Social Security, and $17 million to Medicare.

Security camera
MorgueFile

A proposed city ordinance looks to increase safety for Detroit businesses that serve customers after 10 p.m.

City Councilman Andre Spivey wants to require those businesses to join Project Green Light. That is an initiative that allows police officers to monitor video camera feeds in real time.

Project Green Light is currently just a voluntary program.

“It won’t end all crime, but just a tool that [Detroit Police Department] could use to help fight crime and to apprehend individuals who may perform a crime,” he said.

Gavel
Flickr/Joe Gratz / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A former Detroit-area lawyer pleaded guilty in front of a federal judge today for his involvement in a Macomb County corruption case.

Angelo Selva of Macomb Township pleaded guilty to obtaining and concealing bribes for former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds. Selva was once a Detroit-area lawyer, but says he hasn’t practiced law since 2004.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta walking through the Milton Manufacturing plant in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Creating jobs in Michigan means filling positions that are currently vacant.

That’s according to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, who met with employees at the Milton Manufacturing plant in Detroit and the Ford Truck Plant in Dearborn to speak about apprenticeships and skilled trades training.

He says education is an important part of filling skilled trade job vacancies.

“We need to educate folks to fill the jobs that are empty. It’s call demand-driven education, and we really need to work on that as a country,”

Money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit could soon be independent of financial oversight.

According to its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Detroit ended the 2016 fiscal year with its second consecutive balanced budget, and a $62.9 million surplus.

John Hill, the city’s chief financial officer, says that if the city can end the 2017 fiscal year with another balanced budget, it will be more in control of its financial future.

Rainbow flag, often associated with the LGBT movement
User Marlith / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The largest national survey on transgender people in America shows a need for policy change in Michigan. That’s what a few transgender rights groups say.

Nearly 900 people in Michigan responded to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey and 22% said they faced mistreatment in the workplace due to their gender identity or expression, while 17% said they had been fired before due to being transgender. 

Over a third of the respondents have been homeless at some point in their life, while only 14% of the country's population was homeless at the time of the survey. 

People getting on the MoGo bikes before a community ride out in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people took part in a community “ride out” celebrating the launch of a new bike-sharing program in Detroit today.

MoGo Detroit Bike Share has 430 bikes in 43 locations in 10 neighborhoods throughout the city. Most of the stations are near downtown and midtown. 

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